Fifteen years ago, resources made available by First 5 San Diego funded the creation and implementation of Healthy Development Services (HDS). HDS is a system of care that screens and treats young children with mild to moderate behavioral and developmental needs who do not qualify for other early intervention services. 

Today HDS, in partnership with First 5 San Diego and American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 3, celebrates entering its 15th year of operation, reaching over 317,000 children in San Diego.

The event will feature distinguished guests to include Alethea Arguilez, Executive Director of First 5 San Diego and Lily Valmidiano, Meredith Kennedy, and Pradeep Gidwani of the American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3.

“I have traveled through the US and have not found another community addressing the developmental and behavioral needs of our youngest children like First 5 San Diego Healthy Development Services. It is a truly groundbreaking program,” stated Pradeep Gidwani, MD, MPH, FAAP Medical Director, Healthy Development Services and First 5 First Steps.

 “Through our 15th year of providing service to children through First 5 San Diego Healthy Development Services, we have changed thousands of children and their families’ lives and helped them create a better and brighter future.”

“HDS has become the referral pathway for our providers throughout San Diego County. It is the Commission’s vision to continue raising awareness about the importance of early identification and intervention services for our children and their families,” stated Alethea Arguilez, Executive Director of First 5 San Diego.

HDS promotes children’s optimal development and learning by identifying and addressing problems early. Infants and children grow and develop differently. It is important for parents to know their children are growing and reaching important milestones. First 5 San Diego’s HDS provides no cost developmental checkups for children from birth through 5 years of age and connects children and families to needed services. First 5 San Diego works with some of the best community agencies in San Diego County to ensure parents and other caregivers have the help they need to promote their children’s developmental and behavioral health.

HDS services complement the existing infrastructure that serves children with the most severe delays. The American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 3, provides countywide coordination and technical assistance to HDS and spearheads efforts to improve services continuously.